The Great Food Club Handbook 2017

Every business we recommend is listed on merit. We don’t charge them to appear. — Good Food Club

I prefer to wander around where my feet take me, personal discovery, but even I will admit that if short on time, in an unfamiliar place, then a guide may be useful or at the very least be a useful starting point.

TripAdvisor lacks any credibility. It is full of fake reviews which TripAdvisor fail to deal with.

Google Maps is far superior to TripAdvisor.

Where to Drink Coffee rates as one of the most useless guides ever published.

Good Taste Lincolnshire, a periodical published by Lincolnshire Life rates little better. Potentially it could be a useful publication, quality writing on the best in food and drink in Lincolnshire only it is not, it is anything but. It loses all credibility when an award for best tea or coffee shop goes to a coffee shop serving poor quality coffee, when chains are listed.

Where then does The Great Food Club Handbook 2017 fit in?

It is a bit haphazard only part of the country covered, maybe better to have produced a regional guide. Also how useful a guide when only a couple of places in a town? Though from my experience, often pushed to find more than a couple of places in a town.

The Great Food Club Handbook 2017 covers more than eating places, coffee shops are featured, or at least one is, 200 Degrees in Nottingham.

Merit is the only criteria for inclusion. Of those included that I am familiar with, I  would concur.

Redhill Farm shop, now also in Bailgate in Lincoln and a stall on the rather pathetic farmers market.

It was from the Redhill Farm shop in Bailgate that I picked up this copy. Actually several copies and handed them around.

The Jews House, I have never tried, but have talked a few years ago to the young couple when they had not long opened, and was impressed.

200 Degrees Nottingham Station, not the one listed, the food is excellent. The coffee not great, at least not the house espresso, though the baristas knowledgeable.

I am though surprised at what is missing.

The White Hart Hotel in Bailgate serves excellent food and should be added.

Tickleberry, a new bakery and tea shop, though would not have been around for inclusion.

Lincoln coffee scene, Coffee Aroma, Madame Waffle and Makushi aka Base Camp on Steep Hill. If food has to be a criteria, then Madame Waffle for their waffles.

For cheese, Lincoln Cheese Society merits an entry.

For craft beer, add The Crafty Bottle, stockist of craft beer and also have their own brewery. To their credit they refuse to supply the Coop or stock craft beer from breweries that supply supermarkets.

Anderson Butchers, hidden in the Spar shop in Heighington should be included.

Looking further afield Bamboo Shoots, Jeffries Passage in Guildford, if Surrey is added.

Infamous for disgusting junk food Aldershot is not somewhere one thinks of for food, but the Indonesian street food restaurant in Upper Union Street is  worth a visit.

On the Winchester street food market, Bedda the Sicilian guys with their excellent pasta merit a mention.

What is not clear, is it a condition, paid membership of the Great Food Club, to merit inclusion?

All are indie businesses.

A big plus, no advertising.

For those who appreciate good food and drink, membership of the Good Food Club is free.

For a guide to coffee shops The North and North Wales Independent Coffee Guide and its counterpart for the South West.

Coffee Shop North, stunning imagery of twenty-three coffee shops in six northern towns and one city. The book was crowdfunded. Only available in indie coffee shops and bookshops in the towns and city featured.

Drift and Standart feature coffee culture.  Ambrosia, the culinary counterpart to Drift.

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